Week 24. Phagocytosis

My vision contracts as if I were looking at the world through a paper towel roll.  Then comes the feeling of being on a boat.  Then everything goes black.  The idea of blood stronger than reality.  I’ve never fainted when blood was drawn, just from reading or talking about it. Biology class was hard. I’d remove layers till I was in an undershirt, sweating, heart pumping, all adrenaline.  I felt like a ghost – out of body- at the same time I needed to flee the room, a deep compulsion that can only come from being in the body.

Phagocytosis didn’t trigger fight or flight. I loved the word.  I understood immediately the concept, to digest by engulfing:  An introvert in a group of extroverts.  The goody toe shoes overrun by curious and naughty friends. For me, when my fragment of a family met my step family.

My nuclear family was ephemeral, in the moment it existed we were outside pop culture. When I got a step mother and siblings they brought me into the world of the cool and the appropriate, the two fundamentally linked.  They took me to get my first ever hair cut of any kind (age 9), and to the mall to learn about the Gap and matching outfits.  My costumes and whimsy were digested into closet corners.  Even at 36 I have to ask if I am in the belly of the whale or my own skin.

I wonder what all did I miss to my pounding heart stuck on the significance of blood?  What other metaphors – what other parts of nature can I look to and find myself?

Medium: Watercolors

I just spent the day at Silverwood Park for an art class. I was thinking about drawing out of experience, rather than research, about how some knowledge can only be accessed through drawing and gaze.

I’m thinking about how to access heritage: our spine as evidence of segmented past that gave things space to specialize, though led to greater differentiation. About the meaning and identity carried in process;  how do we get to it? We’re more complex than worms, but we’re less unified.

Macrophage, chemically attracted to damage, always bonding where it hurts, engulfing what doesn’t look like healthy cellular protein, rearranging its skeleton to do so.

I love that things can go both ways: metabolize arginine to nitric acid or to ornithine. That we have both doctor and warrior capabilities in our cells, in a process that once simply wanted to get enough to eat.

Materials: India ink – though the process of ink radiating in water was also a material:)


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